The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-5 in a game that started Friday night and ended in the wee hours Saturday morning. A sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts in the 19th inning was the difference.
A whole lot happened before Betts’ sac fly. The Yankees rallied from three runs down before extra innings, and then stayed alive until the 19th despite two separate extra-inning deficits.
It was a wild, crazy and very, very, very long affair. At six hours, 49 minutes, it was the longest game (in terms of time) in Red Sox history.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox scored the first three runs in a game that initially looked like it was going to last about 45 minutes. Naturally, it slowed to a snail’s pace — it’s the Red Sox and Yankees, after all — from about the fifth inning on.
The Yankees simply wouldn’t go away. Chase Headley tied the score 3-3 with a home run off Edward Mujica with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning.
And that was just the beginning.
Momentum swung back and forth like a pendulum in extra frames. If you can believe it, some lights even went out at Yankee Stadium, prompting a 16-minute delay in the bottom of the 12th inning.
The Red Sox grabbed a 4-3 lead in the 16th inning when David Ortiz went deep against Esmil Rogers. But Mark Teixeira wanted to keep playing, apparently, as he homered off Steven Wright to tie the game.
Boston again seized control when Pablo Sandoval knocked in Dustin Pedroia with an RBI single in the 18th inning. Pedroia had gone from first to third on a single by Hanley Ramirez.
The Yankees were down to play one more inning after Sandoval’s clutch hit. Carlos Beltran knotted things up at five apiece with an RBI double over Ramirez’s head in left field.
Xander Bogaerts led off the 19th inning with a single. He stole second base with Ryan Hanigan batting, advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored when Betts smoked a line drive to center field.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Wright finally closed the door in the 19th inning.
The teams stood toe-to-toe and slugged it out all night (and almost all morning). The Yankees kept getting back up despite the Red Sox gaining the upper hand in several instances, but Betts’ sacrifice fly proved to be the final knockout blow.
Garrett Jones grounded into a game-ending double play in the bottom of the 19th after Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a single.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Once upon a time, Daniel Nava rewarded Red Sox manager John Farrell for inserting him into the starting lineup over Shane Victorino for the second time in four games.
Nava reached base three times (two singles, hit by pitch). His second single in the sixth inning knocked in two runs to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead.
Victorino later replaced Nava as a pinch-hitter in the 10th. Who knew he’d end up playing a full game?
— Sandoval went 4-for-9 with two RBIs and a run scored.
— Betts went 1-for-8 and struck out four times (all from the ninth inning on).
But hey, that sac fly did the trick.
— Bogaerts followed Thursday’s breakout performance with some very good swings, particularly in extra innings.
Bogaerts had four hits and reached base five times in bonus baseball.
— Mike Napoli, who hit six home runs in spring training, made a bid for his first regular-season homer in the eighth inning. He flied out to the warning track in right field.
Napoli finished the game 0-for-8 with four strikeouts.
— Ortiz’s 16th-inning homer was a bright spot in an otherwise mediocre game at the plate for Big Papi. He went 2-for-8 with three strikeouts.
— Ramirez went 3-for-9 and continued to pound the ball with authority.
ON THE BUMP
— Wade Miley, who retired the first 10 batters he faced, breezed through the first five innings in impressive fashion before running into trouble in the sixth.
The left-hander escaped a mini jam in the fifth with the help of a pickoff at first base, but he couldn’t complete the sixth after issuing two walks and surrendering two singles in the frame.
Miley, who lost control rather quickly, was charged with two earned runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six, walked two and can thank Robbie Ross Jr. for minimizing the sixth-inning damage.
Miley came as advertised from a pace standpoint. He worked very quickly in his Red Sox debut.
— Ross entered with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. The lefty escaped the pressure-packed situation allowing only one run (charged to Miley).
Brian McCann flied out to the warning track in right field, plating Brett Gardner from third base, and Headley popped out to second base to strand the potential tying run 90 feet away.
— Alexi Ogando again showed why he could become a valuable late-inning presence.
Ogando touched 96 mph on the radar gun while working a perfect seventh inning.
— Junichi Tazawa tossed a scoreless eighth inning despite Gardner dropping down a bunt single.
Catcher Sandy Leon caught Gardner trying to steal second base with an absolute rocket to Pedroia.
— Mujica, pitching in his first save opportunity of the season, surrendered a no-doubt homer to Headley, extending the game for hours upon hours upon hours.
— Anthony Varvaro (1 1/3 innings), Tommy Layne (1 2/3 innings) and Craig Breslow (two innings) kept the Yankees off the scoreboard.
— Wright entered before the 15th inning and floated knuckleballs until the cows came home.
Wright, who earned the win, allowed two runs on six hits over five innings. He struck out one and walked three in an interesting situation, to say the least.
Wright, of course, thought two days ago he’d be starting Saturday’s game.
TWEET OF THE GAME
A lot of baseball was played.
Longest wins by inning in Red Sox history: 20 inn, 7/27/69 at SEA 19 inn, TONIGHT at NYY 19 inn, 4/11/92 at CLE—
Jon Shestakofsky (@Shesta_Sox) April 11, 2015
The Red Sox and Yankees will play day baseball Saturday, mere hours after this marathon’s completion.
Joe Kelly, who is set to come off the 15-day disabled list after a bout with biceps soreness, will start for Boston. New York will counter with Adam Warren.
Drink plenty of coffee.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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